On January 21st, Roanoke College’s Campus Activities Board welcomed two up-and-coming comics, Richie Holliday and Jessi Campbell.
The Wortmann Ballroom was set up with a nightclub-like theme. Tables and chairs were formally situated around the stage.
Holliday took the stage first. Holliday, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, has been making his rounds on the comedy circuit for the past ten years. He has appeared on HBO and ABC, as well as on tours with both Weird Al Yankovic and Bob Saget.
Holliday’s routine touched a large variety of subjects, ranging from the 1982 horror film Poltergeist to his Irish heritage to a rap version of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” He took to the microphone stand as a pole dancer, and was by no means afraid to push the sexual envelope.
The most memorable part of Holliday’s routine came near the end. In campus promotional artwork, Holliday was pictured with a child’s “A-B-C” toy, that, when letters were pushed, the toy pronounced the letter. The “A-B-C” toy made an appearance. Holliday made the audience imagine that he stood outside of public restrooms with the toy, and pressed “I-C-U-P”, or took the toy to clubs and asked potential love interests, “R-U-E-Z?” Needless to say, no one in attendance on Saturday night will ever look at most any comparable children’s toy in the same way.
Holliday’s set ended with a Wortmann Ballroom-shaking performance of simulated sex to classical music, including “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” and “The War of 1812” overture. The audience gave him a well-deserved ovation.
Jessi Campbell took the stage next. Campbell, a Tucson, Arizona native, appeared as a finalist on CMT’s Next Big Comic, and also took part in the spring 2010 ARMY I.A.M. Strong tour. In addition, she’s made touring rounds all over the country, performing at over 100 clubs and colleges.
Campbell took on a different style than Holliday. While just as funny, Campbell’s humor came from a more traditional storyteller perspective, with her own quips thrown in. In a particularly humorous escape, Campbell assessed the state of air travel. One should know that, if we ever hear about the comic who wore strap-on masculine genitalia just to see if she could get past security, we heard it first at Roanoke College.
Similarly, Campbell assessed the state of being in airplanes. The next time you’re next to an overly-curious crossword puzzle creeper on an airplane, start writing in words that should scare said overly-curious neighbor away. For example, fill the remainder of the puzzle in with the words “KILL” or “DEATH” or “KNIFE”.
After two hours of genuine comic fun, the audience left with a smile on their face, a sense of satisfaction, and the inability to ever look at children’s toys the same way again.